Saturday, April 24, 2010

PSA 2010 Winners Revealed


Harry Ahn


Galina Perova


Scott Burdick


Ellen Cooper


Mardie Rees


Tim Norman

Lea Colie Wight

Kate Sammons

Jeremy Lipking

Nancy Guzik


Michael Klein

Adrain Gottlieb

Jennifer Welty

Michele Dunaway

Ryan Brown

David Kassan


Jeremy Lipking (followed closely by Harry Ahn)



Anonymous said...

wow, hate to be a wet towel but that grand prize is very surprising. burdick and lipking clearly had the best work this year. oh well, judging shows is always a crap shoot i suppose. congrats to all, just a funny choice in my opinion.

innisart said...

It's a tough subject to talk about (heck, I almost replied anonymously on my own blog), mainly because I don't want to take anything away from the talented artists who were represented here.

We could go on and on about judging shows, and I imagine here at this venue that the judges, all learned, talented, and successful artists, had their criteria and the results reflect that particular evaluation system. It's not objective- it can't be. Choices must be made among works of such variety that subjectivity is inescapable in the appraisal system.

It is interesting, however, that the popular vote both at the conference and on the web went to artists who fell in the middle of the group of awards the judges decided upon. I would have expected a closer correlation between the the judge's decisions and those of the "public" (namely other artists). Considering how Kate Sammons (as of this moment) is is the runaway favorite on this blog, I would have expected her to at least have taken 2nd place within the competition. I wouldn't imagine the opinions of the two groups (judges and public) to differ so much.

Jason de Graaf said...

I voted for Harry Ahn here. I find his painting fresh and contemporary, but really I think his aesthetics reflect my own.

azpeitia said...

Magnifico tu blog....azpeitia from Spain

jeff said...

That would not have been my pick.

Kate Sammons' portrait was small but man what a painting.

Jeremy Lipking work was top notch.

Michael Klein and Adrain Gottlieb also deserved to be in top.

This is why I personally do not like these kinds of things. Harry Ahn is a good painter but his work is coming from a very different place than Adrian, Michael, and Kates on all levels.

Anyway this is a tough subject.

All the painters on the list are on top of their game.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is it that qualifies either the judges or the public to make informed choices?

The judges head an organization whose main purpose is to mantain the status quo in the pecking order of todays top portrait artists, which not too coincidentally, includes themselves.

The preliminary judging, in which the finalists are selected, is performed by a group of "artists" distinguished solely by their own mediocrity.

So why would said artists, who fail to see the myriad of flaws in their own flimsy works, be fit to assess excellence in the works of others? What qualifies them? It's simple; they created the organization! As a result of their ineptness, the best submissions rarely, if ever, get to be finalists and the organization is a bastion of mediocrity.

Innisart, why would one surmise that a majority of seminar attendees, or blog readers for that matter, have the critical eye or knowledge and training to discern good from bad art? Since when is the judging of art a democratic pursuit?

The portrait by Kate Sammons is the leading vote getter here? Very sad. This muddy, mushy and spotty oil portrait is flat out not good. Jeremy LIpking"s painting is slick, superficial, and vapid, but at least it's not muddy.

Judging art is clearly an inappropriate task for the masses as well.

The finalists are sorry lot of second rate portraits and mediocre figure paintings. There is so much better work out there, if the Portrait Society really cared.

jeff said...

Wow, that last anon comment has some "issues". I could say that this persons comments are in the same league as mine as it's clearly based on a personal opinion.

Michale Klein is not a second rate painter, nor is Kate Sammons or Adrain Gottlieb second rate.

What are you judging this on?
What would be a top portrait for you?

Lipking is a good painter, vapid?
That's uncalled for and just plain nasty. You also hide behind the anonymous tag and I suspect the post will be removed. I hope not.
I think people should read this and understand that some people are out just say hurtful things just to say them.

In my opinion Marvin Mattelson is one of the best in country but he is not even on the list. He has won in the past.

However all of the artist are very confident painters. You don't' have to like them, I'm not to into all the skin Jeremy uses as a device but I think hes a very good painter and he's still very young and has years ahead of him.

Another painter who I wish was a finalist was Rose Frantzen.

Jason de Graaf said...

jeff you said "Harry Ahn is a good painter but his work is coming from a very different place than Adrian, Michael, and Kates on all levels. " What place should the work come from?

jeff said...

Jason Michael Klein's work is very different from Harry Ahn. Night and day if you ask me. Klein is coming form a naturalist point of view and Ahn seems to be coming out of impressionism. Everything about these two painters is different, paint handling, light effect, how they handle atmosphere. The level of paint handling alone is so different I would not even consider them the same kind of painters. They both paint figures, but the idea behind the work is not the same. The level of finish is another aspect.

Ahn seems like a good painter to me but I don't see the same level of ability at all. Klein is on another level and I think one can see that in the drawing.

Paul Corfield said...

I like the work on the figure in the Michael Klein painting but the background looks very flat, almost like it's a painted sheet or panel hanging behind the model.

Jason de Graaf said...

Klein and Lipking are both at the top of their game. Klein's work resonates with me more than Lipking's does in general. But, in my opinion, the two works here are not their strongest. I actually think Anonymous made some valid points as well.

jeff said...

Anonymous maybe did make some valid points, but did so in a way that was kind of nasty. You can be critical without saying "sorry lot of second rate portraits and mediocre figure paintings." That's uncalled for.

Also it's hard to judge a painting from a online image if that is what people are doing. I'm making a judgment from this context and I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Kyle V Thomas said...

I would like to read who "Anonymous" thinks are currently the best in the field. There would, however, need to be an agreed upon criteria of judgment.
Is this competition supposed to represent the very best in portrait art? Not really, because not all artists participate in the PSoA competition.

"So rather a little wisdom than a lot of energetic zeal." -VanGogh

Judy P. said...

I'm finding these comments to be informative in developing my own 'eye' for viewing paintings, especially when commenters disagree, and then state their case. That's the difference with that anon comment-just negative carping, no decisive points made.
But that point about some backgrounds being so flat- Stapleton Kearns has just written a post about that being another decision the artist makes. But at my painting level I see painters who do that because they can't figure out how the background reconciles with the subject, so they just 'fill it in', which certainly can look fine and fitting. I guess my point is I'm confused as to when it becomes a 'decision' and when the flat background is the default by inability. Is it just the proven, acknowledged reputation of the artist?

Jason de Graaf said...

It can never be subjective. There's always some law of sociology, personal taste, even inclusivity at play.

Ryan Mellody said...

Matt, thank you for your "coverage" of the conference, I looked forward to checking the blog every morning.

My opinion on the judging is that a "portrait", at least within this competition was judged for not only the character of the model, but also the other elements seen in traditional portraiture, like a glimpse into the models actual life and work. (Think of a Judge with his robe, or the executive next to his desk . . . I'm not crazy about it, but it's portraiture at the core) Harry Ahn's work is the one painting that meets the technical, and character notes while still being insightful to the models life. (Not my personal "favorite", but as a portrait, for a client, this stands out as the one painting that gives me the complete story (Galina Perova’s Best of Show also does this)). Now, if this was strictly figurative or even in-formal portraiture, then Jeremy or Kate Sammons should have walked home with the Grand Prize.

Am I totally wrong on this? It just seems to flow with the winners and the Portrait Societies history of judging.

Stanka Kordic said...

I couldn't imagine trying to judge a show of that magnitude and scope and make everyone happy.

Just take it all in stride, wins and losses. Easier said than done, I agree. I personally find it absurd to even have Art Competitions. I say this every time I enter one of these goshdarnthings, muttering to myself. I truly look forward to the day I will be well established enough to never have to enter another competition again.

I hate sports too.

Walter Woodpecker said...

Yes, it's hard to "judge" on-line images, but I liked Kate's maybe for all the wrong reasons. There was something subtle, inexplicable there about how the subject came across as a person, a sensitivity for the very human-ness and nothing else. What do I know? After 9/11 I think a fire-fighter painting won?Hey come on, they were all great paintings. Besides, as an artist, if you really didn't like them it should give you hope...

Anonymous said...

I'm flattered that those who call into question my remarks and are so quick to criticize them have obviously failed to comprehend what I said. I did not demean any of the artists personally, their artistic integrity or works in general. They very well may or may not be great artists.

What I did was to call into question was the quality of these specific works as chosen by the Portrait Society to be finalists in their competition. THAT WAS MY POINT! If you want a criteria for judging what constitutes a great portrait, go to a museum and look at masterful works where composition, color, edge work and depth of character are amply displayed.

Who I would personally categorize as a good artist or a bad artist is quite beyond the point, my point being that the work here is poor. Do your due diligence, open your eyes and look for yourselves.

I singled out Sammans and Lipking because they were people's choice winners both here on this blog and at the conference. I'm not saying they were undeserving of the accolades thus accorded, based on what they were up against. They are both highly flawed portraits. To think otherwise is delusional.

When I described Sammons painting as "muddy, mushy and spotty" I thought I was being quite succinct. For those who need it s-p-e-l-l-e-d out, her plethora of soft edges makes the figure look like mush. To have the hardest edge be her cast nose shadow is dumb serving no apparent purpose. It's inconsistency, compared to the cast neck shadow, bespeaks of cluelessness. The color is a grey muddy mess, heavy and lifeless. The painting of the forehead makes it look like its a giant pimple, ready to erupt.

The Lipking painting is the better of the two, at least from an edge and color perspective. Far from his best effort, however, and a very questionable as a "portrait". It reveals nothing of the sitter's character-thus my pronouncement of superficial and yes, vapid. His usual soft porn subjected paintings are all about surface and have very little to do with portrayal. Maybe that's a desirable trait for figurative painting, but with regards to portraiture, a big faux pas. Also his composition superimposes a claustrophobic tension-a quality most portrait clients would, most likely, not appreciate.

That's it for me kiddies. They're saying its time for my medication and I'm late for anger management group!

Stanka Kordic said...

go Cavs.

jeff said...

Anon you can't have it both ways.
Fist you hide behind being unknown.
Second this comment "I did not demean any of the artists personally, their artistic integrity or works in general." is a pretty sad attempt to back track on the nasty statements.

Then you say this: "They are both highly flawed portraits. To think otherwise is delusional." As well as other comments that really only point to you not liking these artist. To put them up against portrait painters hanging in museums is kind of silly. I mean the paintings are being judged on the work submitted not what's hanging in the Met.

Anon why not make yourself known?
What are you hiding?

Walter Woodpecker said...

Maybe because my 23 yr-old teenager wrecked the car last night, I want to recant. Anon made some good points. Blogs can argue. This particular show is a bit of a sham. Face it, the artists selected are the who's-who of the day. The Port.Soc. is self-serving and having that line-up fed the weekend events. A paint-off? Autographs? A peacock's "revolution"?

On that note, at least Stanka is back to rooting for the home-team. As far as revolutions go, I don't think B-ball will ever go backward to those little tight shorts. Do you?

All in good fun, peeps...

jeff said...

Being critical and snarky are not the same thing. You can critique a painting without being nasty.

I don't know about the politics of the PSA but they do have members who are the top portrait painters in the country. I agree however that Lipking is not a portrait painter however he was judged into the finals. Is it because he is young and has the attention of the realist art media? Most likely this is the case. His work is easy to digest and is slick. It does not bother me personally and even if I did not have that much interest in his work I still think using him as a whipping post for what one does not like about the PSA is in bad form.

Try learning how to give a critique without being so nasty, it helps your argument.

Anonymous said...

I want to know what ever happened to GREAT Portraiture as it existed in the days of Reynolds ,Sargent,Vermeer,Velasquez...these geat artists did not have cameras as we know them...or even modern convieniances like ready made brushes and paints...yet today 99% of portraits dont even come CLOSE to those great Masters! there is no originality or real beauty anymore...HELLO!!!!! did ANYONE catch that Kate Sammons portrait was a flip flop COPY of "the Girl with the Pearl Earring" by Jan Vermeer???? Except for Jeremy Lipking...most of the art in this competition sadly falls under the catagory of technical has no heart or soul of human portrayal

Izlude said...

Hate to say this but anonymous called it like it IS....whether or not he was nasty IS besides the point...he is expressing an important opinion as a wake up these so called prestigious art competitions...that choices good or bad are only subjective...and it does seem that judgining is getting worse.. Belive me he isnt the ONLY one to feel this way...he just has the guts to say so!!!!!.My question is will any of these paintings ever hang in a great art gallery 100 years from now... and people come from all over the world just to see them,,,I kind of doubt it..(.but personally ,Ill put my money on lipking!)

Stanka Kordic said...

This whole discussion is exactly why I hate competitions. It brings out the ugliness in people.

You know, I try to understand the place that people come from when they chant "where oh where is all the good art today". People that chant this, are usually art makers themselves..and if they are, perhaps they see their own work as worthy, albeit overlooked. If such is the case, then allow us here to gaze upon the perfection that is 'true art' so that we may try to understand where you are coming from. This would foster a discussion that would be less divisive, perhaps. Comparing artists of today, to those of the past just isn't fair. Lets compare and contrast people on the same playing field. If indeed, you feel this is necessary, which I don't. Everyone has a right to express themselves as they will, and yes, even in a blog..

That said, in the scheme of life, PSoA Competitions won't change the world, but kindness can.

Jason de Graaf said...

It seems a lot of very good artists, cutting edge artists, do not enter competitions at all. Maybe because they know it would not be forthcoming or maybe because they are satisfied with their place in the art world. There are artists who are at the top of the game, best in the world at what they do, but you really have to go out of your way to find them.

jeff said...

"It seems a lot of very good artists, cutting edge artists, do not enter competitions at all. Maybe because they know it would not be forthcoming or maybe because they are satisfied with their place in the art world. There are artists who are at the top of the game, best in the world at what they do, but you really have to go out of your way to find them."

Really? Like who? I would say that Antonio Lopez Garcia is one of pretty much on top of his game. As is Marvin Mattelson, Max Ginsburg to name a couple. As for being satisfied I would argue any artist worth his or her salt is never satisfied with their work. If you are then you are complacent and that's the kiss of death in my view.

This is a visual art and exhibiting is part of it for most artist.

I understand what some of anon is saying and I do agree with his or hers comments on some levels. I just disagree with being so snarky.

It also very unfair to compare painters of today to painters from the 17th or 18th centuries. As for Sargent, well he blew most of the painters in his day away as well.
I can only think of a handful who come close to him. Zorn, Whistler, Chase to name a few. There are also all the great French classical painters of this time as well.

Personally I don't like competitions but they are part of the art world. In the 19th century if you did not get into the Salon it could mean the death of a career.

Jason de Graaf said...

I'm not merely talking of the PSA or portrait painting competitions. I mean in general there are successful artists who never enter competitions even though their work is superior.

I didn't say satisfied with their work, I meant satisfied with their career.

Belita said...

Dont compare todays artists to yesteryears artist because it isnt fair? Oh Puleeeze! let me get out my violin!!! How else is progress in ANYTHING ever made with out some kind of comparison...arent competitions making comparisons also and unwittingly pitting artist against artist...that seems more perposterous that trying to set some kind of standard of what is truly good looking back in time to see what has made great art in the first place.To see art taking a step backwards...and yearning to see art in all its glory once more....what is wrong with that?

jeff said...

I find it interesting how all the most critical people are hiding behind a shroud of anonymity.

What I meant by it not being fair to compare artists of today to the great masters is that it's a cheap shot.

Not many get to the level of Velasquez, Rubens or Sargent. I would think it's a given that painters of this caliber are what all want to work towards but most don't and to use Sargent as a comparison is a cheap shot.

Snarky Anonymous said...

There are several Anonymouses (Anonymi?) here on this thread, so I wanted to clarify which one I am. I am the Snarky one!

A big reason that world-class talents resist entering shows is because they fear they have little to no chance of being judged fairly.

It is abundantly clear most judges have little capacity to discern good from bad painting, giving second (or third) class works higher awards than first class paintings. I've seen this happen again and again and I want to address the why of it.

Many jurors are incapable of recognizing quality in painting, judging by their own art. More importantly, many judges have personal agendas which range from flat out jealousy to justifying their own narrow points of view. That's why far too many winning entries resemble the style of the judge. And of course, let's not forget the big part played by nepotism and favoritism.

Also, why is it always the same small pool of artists being selected to judge? Collusion? Conspiracy?

So why would anyone capable of doing great work take the enormous chance of being demeaned? It's not a matter of being satisfied with either one's work or one's success. It's the desire to engage in combat on a level playing field.

As for why I choose to be anonymous, you're kidding, right? You have to be pretty stupid to not get that! Hey, that's why they call me Snarky!

Jason de Graaf said...

Aren't you hiding behind a shroud of anonymity as well jeff? Your profile is hidden.

I'm thinking of making some "Snarky Anonymous" merchandise in honour of this thread's epicness? Anyone up for a "Snarky Anonymous" mousepad? tshirt?

Belita said...

hello fellow artists! I think everyone is being critical even "nasty " out of frustration with what seems to be a very political choice of winners ...which do seem to be the whos who of the day...and it isnt even their best work...and that shuts out many lesser (and unknown} GOOD artists who could gain some important recognition in these kinds of contests(ARC RENEWAL. OIL PAINTERS OF AMERICA.OUTWIN BOOCHEVER... to name a few(forgive my spelling!)...there IS something going on and I think many are just tierd of it...and it isnt cheap to enter these contests...some going for 50$ an for comparing past and present artists ...I dont see anything unfair about it ....its really how we have to stop and look where our craft is coing...kind of like quality controll..... its the artists of the PAST which have already made art famous...and we can learn from them still...personally when I enter I dont really think I will place althouh I can hold my own with ALL these artists...I KNOW how good I amd could beat them in any paint off! Still I have fun entering and showing off my work...and I am happy for those who the samr time unless the organizatio starts changing...ther will be a lot of discord and anger....

jeff said...

My profile was turned off.
It should have been on.
It's on now.

I agree with you snarky anon, that competitions can kind of a set up.
I also have noticed that all the same people do seem to show up these things, but maybe they are making the effort.

jeff said...

I'm not angry at what you're describing. It does not mean anything unless you want to be recognized in this arena. I know of a few world class painters who never enter the PSA or the ARC because they do not believe in these things.

I also know one of the winners, well I know their work, and they work very hard and I think deserve what they have accomplished. In fact it took them 5 years of entering before they won.

I know of another painter who really wanted to get into a certain gallery. They kept submitting for years and finally they got in.

Jonathan said...

To say that comparing work of the past to current art is unfair is a bit of cop out. True, there are no current Bouguereau's out there(to my knowledge) but with the return of academic training it would be cowardly not to strive for the standards of the past. This competition is always a mixed bag in my opinion but it does seem like the strongest work this year got only consolation prizes. I feel that if better standards are not implemented that this competition will probably wane in importance.

Stanka Kordic said...

Since I few of you are taking issue with my comment I feel I need to clarify, and then I'll take my leave.

Of course we look to the past for our standards. Our master artists are my personal teachers, as I'm sure they are for many of you. Sure, academies are cropping up all over, but is it truly the same as LIVING during that era? That's my point. LIVING today, with all the distractions, with all the technology, with all the tools available, with the speed, with the fumes, with the fast food...

Living life in 1862 informed an artist's work much differently than living life in 2010. That's my point.

Go and paint in the way that makes you happy and all the best to you..

Anonymous said...

this competition needs to be exposed for the scam it !!! Judging from the "winners" truly good artists must avoid it like the plague !